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Distributing Your Event Flyers Courteously and Legally

Whether you have enlisted in the design services of professionals, such as the design team at 5 Star Marketing & Distribution, or you have designed and printed your own flyers for your upcoming summer event, your message won’t be seen unless you effectively display and distribute those flyers. Here are some ideas of places to display and distribute your flyers as well as some things to avoid in order to prevent wasting your time and resources or—even worse—facing negative legal ramifications.

Here are some ideas of places you can hand out your flyers. Keep in mind that not all of these places will be appropriate to your target audience or your event, so keep in mind your goals as you choose the posting locations that are best for you:

Handing Out Your Flyers

  • Direct-mail flyer marketing
  • If you own or manage a retail shop, insert flyers in customers’ shopping bags, hand them out at the counter, or place them on display at the counter
  • Include flyers with bills and invoices mailed to your customers
  • Insert flyers in packages your send to your customers
  • Include flyers in pocket folders to be handed to clients with informational literature in B2B meetings and presentations
  • Hand out flyers to future events at other events
  • Set up a booth at trade shows, concerts, community races, sidewalk sales, and other community events, and hand your flyers to people who stop at your booth
  • Place flyers on cars in parking lots
  • Distribute your flyers door to door

Posting Your Flyers

There are many opportunities to hang your event flyers in your local community. Here are just some of them:

  • Utility poles
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Bus stops, subways, and train stations
  • Stores with community bulletin boards, such as grocery stores and convenience stores
  • Community centers and senior centers
  • Community, visitor, and tourism offices, including chambers of commerce and visitor centers
  • Public restrooms and bulletin boards outside of them
  • Daycare buildings and schools with community bulletin boards
  • College and university bulletin boards
  • Vestibules in coffee shops, restaurants, and bards
  • Gyms
  • Libraries
  • Churches
  • Banks

Avoid Discourteously and/or Illegally Posting Your Flyers

While there are many places that make excellent locations to display and distribute your flyers, there are some places that it is illegal to place them. It is illegal to place flyers in mailboxes and newspaper boxes. In order for your flyers to lawfully land in mailboxes, you must pay for postage and send them through USPS. In addition, some communities have ordinances against door-to-door solicitation, in which case you cannot go door to door and hand out your flyers. Other communities and private businesses have ordinances against placing flyers in parking lots (especially on vehicles) and utility poles. In other instances, such as in private businesses, it may not be illegal to post flyers, but the business owners and/or managers might throw away your flyers if you aren’t granted specific permission to post them. This would be a waste of the valuable resources you spent designing, printing, and posting your flyers.

Another thing to keep in mind when posting and placing your flyers is that spots in brochure and rack card holders and visitor information centers—such as those in 5 Star’s distribution program—are designated for businesses that have paid to be a part of an established distribution program. If you place your flyer or other print marketing material in these racks, they will be removed. The moral of the story is always to ask the manager, business owner, or even receptionist before displaying your flyer in a business or nonprofit organization.



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